20/6/2016 by Joseph Shenton
“Your brand is what people say about you after you leave the room.”
Jeff Bezos – Founder and CEO of Amazon
Like everything in the business world, technology is continually moulding the evolution of the employer-candidate relationship into the digital age. At the touch of a button, you, the candidate, are able to access thousands of potential vacancies, along with job alerts and news on-demand. Above all, technology provides a clear platform on which to interact and become familiar with potential employers on a professional basis.
Vacancies are accessible to anyone, anywhere and the pool of applicants has increased massively, creating a fiercely competitive job market. There will be hundreds of people in the same position as you, each marketing themselves in a different way in order to get noticed by the people who matter. It is, therefore, essential to find a niche right from the off to break away from the pack and engage employers through the personal brand represented in your CV. In such a densely populated job market, scrolling through candidate after candidate reciting the same buzzwords is tedious for recruiters. If you bring something new and different to the table, your personal offering is more likely to be received with enthusiasm and interest.
Nowadays, companies look further than the standard CV and cover letter. Social networks are increasingly being used by employers to gain a 360 degree perspective on prospective candidates. To stand out from the crowd, jobseekers must be innovative and unique in their job search and demonstrate their individuality on their social media platforms. Essentially, a CV is a product on the shelf next to hundreds of others; it must be distinctive in order to be recognised as valuable and desirable to employers. Utilising social networking is the most effective means of generating added value and creating a strong personal brand that engages employers and generates interest. Sites such as LinkedIn provide you with a chance to present your skills and experience on a professional platform as well as a wealth of networking opportunities. Utilising these websites effectively is crucial in order to be competitive in your job search.
The importance of networking cannot be underestimated. It is one of the most important ways in which you can market your personal brand to potential employers. Direct interaction with employers and headhunters exposes you to people in your field and gives you a real insight into what it is really about. Networking allows you to engage with the individuals within your profession you wouldn’t have interacted with before. As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Building relationships at an early stage in the job-hunting process can help you to get noticed, make your name visible to prospective employers and, most importantly, reinforce your personal brand.
Fully utilising your professional social media accounts by showcasing your unique value, strengths and experience and reaching out to key individuals will help to distinguish yourself from other candidates. Ultimately, employers will recognise the effort you have made to set yourself apart from your competitors and will look upon you and your personal brand favourably during the decision-making process.
Whilst branding has traditionally been viewed as an executive-level business strategy, in such a competitive job market, it is essential to market yourself as a product in order to get noticed. Personal branding will not only highlight your individuality but give you a clear focus upon which to build as you develop your career.
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